Question: “how can I clean inside a double paned window? Our home is 12 years old with the original tilt-in windows. their is grime, spider web looking material and a film built up on the inside of the double panes. help!”
Double-pane windows utilize two pieces of glass that are constructed with an airtight seal between them. This seal is designed to lock the air in so it can act as an insulator. If water or dirt starts to build up between the two panes, it is an indication that this seal has been broken. This break can be as small as a pinhole.
In order to clean between the two pieces of glass, the windows would have to be completely taken apart, which would really break the seal. It is not possible to reseal the window without hiring a professional. Unfortunately, this means it’s not possible to clean between the two glass panes without ruining the window. If the seal is broken and dirt/moisture is starting to show, it is best to have the window replaced.
However, there are some things you can do to improve the look of it it if you can’t get it replaced right away.
Drilling a hole or two in the window will allow you to tuck a small desiccate packet into the space to absorb any moisture that has gathered there or rinse it out (with isopropyl alcohol) if there is dirt inside. If you decide to drill, use the information below shared by Billie Bob.
If rinsing the area is not enough to remove the dirt buildup, you will need to fashion a device to thread through the hole that you can use to wipe it out. This can be a pair of wool pantyhose on a drain snake (only if the drilled hole is wide enough for the bristles to pull back out in reverse) or a sock duct taped onto a piece of wire. You may want to tie or tape a long string onto the handle end of the drain snake or wire in case you accidentally drop it so you could use the string to pull it back out.
Another option besides rinsing the window or wiping it out is to point a fan on it after you have drilled a few holes in the seal. This will increase the air flow between the panes and allow any moisture that has gathered there to evaporate. This will not remove any dirt however, only moisture.
Without knowing where the initial break in the seal is located, the problem will continue. For this reason, we do not recommend re-sealing the holes so that you can clean the window again when needed. Also, if you were to seal the drilled holes, you would be sealing in the moisture that is currently in the air inside.
If moisture inside the window is the only problem, not dirt, you can try to remove the moisture with one of these methods.
- Put a dehumidifier near the window. This can be either a dehumidifier machine, a small room dehumidifier such as Damp Rid, or a DIY option like a container of charcoal briquettes with a few holes poked in the lid of the container.
- Lay a moisture absorber along the bottom edge. This can be either a water snake or a few desiccate packets.
- Put a space heater near the window or point a hair dryer at it. This may help the water to evaporate.